As a Guildford lawyer, I successfully applied to the Guildford Crown Court to discharge a Sexual Offences Protection Order on behalf of a client who had previously received an indeterminate Order.
A Sexual Offences Protection Order is an ancillary order, commonly imposed by a court sentencing an offender for a Schedule 3 sexual offence.
A Sexual Offences Prevention Order is made under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. An application to vary or discharge an Order should be made under section 108.
Application to discharge
An application to discharge a Sexual Offences Prevention Order should be made to a judge of the Court who originally made the order.
Interestingly, there is no set procedure and no guidelines exist describing how to make an application. Assistance from a competent Guildford solicitor or barrister should be sought.
Interested third parties
In making an application to discharge a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, interested third parties have to be contacted and their views obtained.
Generally speaking, a period of five years has to elapse before an application can be made to discharge a Sexual Offences Prevention Order.
When an application to discharge can be made
The Court of Appeal has made it clear that powers to vary a Sexual Offences Prevention Order should be exercised only when there is a ‘change of circumstances’.
Change of circumstances
What may amount to a ‘change of circumstances’ will depend on the circumstances of each case. Recent case law assists to determine whether or not application may be successful.
The test to discharge a Sexual Offences Prevention Order is that it is no longer necessary to impose any form of Sexual Offences Prevention Order in order to achieve the objective of protecting the public in the future.
In a recent application to discharge a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, I was able to successfully apply for a discharge the Order in the absence of a court hearing! In order to achieve a discharge in the absence of a hearing, it is necessary to fully understand the procedures and apply them to the current authorities. It does not follow that a court hearing can be avoided in every application but legal experience can ensure that hearings can be reduced to a minimum.
You are not required to declare a Sexual Offences Prevention Order after its termination, unless applying for an exempt occupation.
If you are subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, which was made over five years ago and wish to consider having it discharged, you may wish to contact a competent Guildford lawyer.